Rakes of v/line GHs on mt gambier goods in the 80s

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benscaro Chief Commissioner

from at least 1983 until 1986 at the earliest, mt gambier goods trains sometimes conveyed massive rakes of v/line GH hoppers and some times GYs too, from the mount to, well, somewhere in SA.  i'd assume that it might have been western victorian grain going to pt adelaide but that's only a guess. 

a video here:

http://www.johnnyspages.com/mt_gambier_sth_east_files/buttons/button_video%20footage_152_1984.gif

and a shot from 1984:



there's a shot on pg20 of the SA Diesel Pictorial - the 80s showing 962 leaving the mount,with a rake of GHs and tarped GYs; the caption doesn't say where the grain wagons were headed.

any ideas about this traffic? in particular, when it ceased?

ben 

 
jm1941 Chief Commissioner

Location: Mount Gambier

Ben, I guess that picture with all those engines does give the impression that those grain wagons may have been loaded, but they were all empties. The 500 was our weekly shunt engine being sent back as a 500 would come in for the weeks shunt and we'd return that 500 we had been using. The (2) 930's, and 830.  I'd say because of clearing out the Frances grain silo to Portland, there was a previous extra train came in from Naracoorte with a 930 or 930 & 830 were put on to shift extra loading into the Mount and all those engines were being returned on 152. I'd say that was on a Monday morning 152 roadside in 1984.



Of course the 500 behind would have been shut down, so no big deal to pull that lot.  Anyway the movie shows that train leaving the mount, do love the throttling up getting stuck into it out from Wandillo, good stuff.  



Not sure when the grain traffic actually ceased from Frances, I not remember seeing much of any grain and fertiliser wagons going through the Mount for a good while before the whole the SE line got the shove and now no more. AN was letting road transport screw us blind to get rid of the SE line.  



Regards, Rolling Eyes

 
benscaro Chief Commissioner

thanks john, so the GHs would only have gone as far as frances? did you ever see them anywhere else in SA or was it just something unique to the SE?

cheers, ben

 
jm1941 Chief Commissioner

Location: Mount Gambier

Ben, I think it was only here in the South East for Portland to my knowledge. Never saw those GH 4 wheel wagons elsewhere in S.A. though that not mean they were not used elsewhere.

 
Top Cat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Under Hilton Bridge

I must say I never saw any GH wagons anywhere in SA apart from the south-east.....some going out on the Millicent line and some going north as far as Frances.....but I never worked in the south-east, but visited numerous times..... 8)

 
benscaro Chief Commissioner

I must say I never saw any GH wagons anywhere in SA apart from the south-east.....some going out on the Millicent line and some going north as far as Frances.....but I never worked in the south-east, but visited numerous times..... 8)

- Top Cat

thanks top cat.

consulting the PDSRM publication 'SA diesel pictorial the 80s' which has maps indicating silos, i cannot see any silos indicated on the millicent line, but IIRC there was some sort of grain traffic on that line somewhere.   where did they load grain?

cheers, ben

 
Top Cat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Under Hilton Bridge

I must admit, I may be confusing the departure of the Millicent train from Mt Gambier with the departure of No. 152 roadside train from Mt Gambier to Tailem Bend.....in relation to rakes of GH wagons.

In fact a lot of tarped OB's OBF's with 'super' went to Millicent (as did bulk cement), and loaded grain from Frances certainly went back to Portland in GH wagons.

However many may also remember tarped GY wagons loaded with 'super' coming into SA via Mt Gambier for a wide range of SA country locations (some even north of Adelaide) - when the competition was fierce between the fertiliser producers.

Mt Gambier was certainly often seen with tarped SA and tarped Vic wagons, in addition to the GH opens in the grain traffic - all in the yard at the same time....without going into a whole range of other discussion about other south-east traffics....

  8)

 
benscaro Chief Commissioner

I must admit, I may be confusing the departure of the Millicent train from Mt Gambier with the departure of No. 152 roadside train from Mt Gambier to Tailem Bend.....in relation to rakes of GH wagons.

In fact a lot of tarped OB's OBF's with 'super' went to Millicent (as did bulk cement), and loaded grain from Frances certainly went back to Portland in GH wagons.

However many may also remember tarped GY wagons loaded with 'super' coming into SA via Mt Gambier for a wide range of SA country locations (some even north of Adelaide) - when the competition was fierce between the fertiliser producers.

Mt Gambier was certainly often seen with tarped SA and tarped Vic wagons, in addition to the GH opens in the grain traffic - (snip) ....

  8)

- Top Cat

thanks top cat

i know AN used OBFs on scrap traffic as late as 1994 but i do not know what other classes of AN four wheel wagon might have made it into the 90s.  i presume there may have been other isolated examples.

all 4- wheel ballast wagons were gone by that time, i think steamranger got some Zs in 1984.  

i think the DWFs were gone by 1985, i am not sure i have ever seen a photo of one in a train post 1983-84, really.  

not sure about four wheel cattle and sheep vans but i suppose a few may have lasted ... given livestock traffic ran till 1990.  

OBFs on super must have made it to the late 80s.

not sure about GYs in SA, but i think aside from the morwell briquette traffic, march 1989 was d-day for Victorian four wheelers.  hope these reminiscences jog some memories.

cheers,

ben

 
Top Cat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Under Hilton Bridge

....I wasn't restricting my comments to the late 1980's....I was generalising a tad more about four wheelers (ie SAR and VR) in Mt Gambier, but I understand the thread was time specific. I can assure you loaded GYs of super did come into SA...particularly in the 1970s, as it was also unofficially accepted that their existence in freight trains on some "average" northern branch lines contributed to some derailments...due to the train geometry and riding of fully loaded GYs verses OBFs. 8)

 
jm1941 Chief Commissioner

Location: Mount Gambier

The GH's only ever went to Frances as was only silo on SE line.  No GH's went out on Millicent line as no silos. Also about only time GH's went to Frances was I'd say when there were insufficient grain/super wagons supply in SA, especially during the super season as that was when the silos be getting cleaned out for next season, so the pressure would have been on for the OB's and OBF's. The GH's were not a done thing in as much it was only now and then they were ever sent over to shift the grain as mostly it was done with SA's OB's and OBF's.



GY's here were mostly used for fertilizer traffic into SA and those GYs I'd say went to near every SA station where there were grain farmers and all came through the Mount. During the super season the super from Portland they were full gigger trains with wagons for everywhere mostly on all the lines up to and out of Tailem Bend in the Mallee.  



As a shunter of those days those Vicys were a nightmare at times and you shunted your backside off, kicking off and fly shunting remarshalling trains in station order for the roadside trains, even out on the Millicent line. It was weird as nearly 99% of the time if they was 2 or 3 GY super wagons for same station they be scattered through the train. Grrrr.  Of course we would get OB's and OBF's of super for over the border into Victoria from Pt Adelaide too. Super those days was a big deal, certainly a money spinner for railways.



The 4 wheel stuff died near instantly as soon as LCL traffic became the thing of day to get rid the "Less Than Carload" loading, that was when the super traffic collapsed. SA rail dropped dead near instantly as did the train loading, we all started to play tidily winks as the trains got smaller, well for the South East it did, as super and other loading went all by road and was quick in happening.  Ushering in the beginning of the end.



Oh by the way I think some bulk grain was stored on the ground at Naracoorte. I think the area is still there.



Regards.

 
benscaro Chief Commissioner

thanks john, that's really informative ... as everything you write is!

i wonder how the GHs performed in SA?  i note the comments on the tendency of the GYs to leave the rails in SA, and in victoria there were problems with GHs in that they could take far more grain than the GYs but used the same brake arrangement, apparently making rakes of them pretty scary on grades.  

for this reason too, their frames were prone to cracking.  

a very interesting looking wagon, especially with all the variations, but for all the work undertaken the conversion project only seems to have gotten a decade of life out of them.

i'd tend to agree with mark bau's comments that the VR might have been better off just building more bogie hoppers.

best regards

ben

 
K-Class Chief Train Controller

Location: Canada

i know AN used OBFs on scrap traffic as late as 1994 but i do not know what other classes of AN four wheel wagon might have made it into the 90s.

- benscaro



Does anyone know what type of OBF wagons were used for this traffic through the  early 90's was it just the roller bearing type by this stage or a mix of both roller bearing and non roller bearing?

Matt

 
benscaro Chief Commissioner

i know AN used OBFs on scrap traffic as late as 1994 but i do not know what other classes of AN four wheel wagon might have made it into the 90s.

- benscaro



Does anyone know what type of OBF wagons were used for this traffic through the  early 90's was it just the roller bearing type by this stage or a mix of both roller bearing and non roller bearing?

Matt

- K-Class

i'll have to check the 1994 'catchpoint' where the image is, but i think it was mainly the later roller bearing versions.  

i'm going to be away from london over the weekend so someone else who has an archive of 'catchpoints' may get to it sooner.

this operation is interesting particularly because 1994 is so late in the piece ... it's a bit out there on its own.

post 1988, i can't find *any* evidence of other AN workings using 4 wheel wagons - on any traffic - if you don't include the experimental AQUZ.  

there must have been some, but photographic evidence is lacking.

ben

 
wat700 Junior Train Controller

Location: Richmond, NSW

Pretty sure the OBFs on the scrap train (circa 94) were all roller bearing but I could be wrong. Need to check my photos of the scrap train when I get home.

 
alcoworldseries Deputy Commissioner

Location: Auburn

99% certain all roller bearings, AN was very keen to dispose of non roller bearing equipment in the 80's.

Pretty sure the OBFs on the scrap train (circa 94) were all roller bearing but I could be wrong. Need to check my photos of the scrap train when I get home.

- wat700

 
jm1941 Chief Commissioner

Location: Mount Gambier

99% certain all roller bearings, AN was very keen to dispose of non roller bearing equipment in the 80's.


Pretty sure the OBFs on the scrap train (circa 94) were all roller bearing but I could be wrong. Need to check my photos of the scrap train when I get home.
- wat700
- alcoworldseries



Yes your right, all OBF's were converted to roller bearings. Not to say there may have been odd ones around but I not remember shunting with them in the 80's having axle boxes and down here we worked with lot of OBF's and OB's on the super and some dolimite traffic.  Anyway apart from roller bearings being better for train working, the roller bearings were much better for kicking off and fly shunting, they'd roll so easy.  I vaugely remember once they had fitted roller bearings, the hand brakes were better setup too, for some reason. An important item for your spragger.  Wink



Regards,

 
benscaro Chief Commissioner

99% certain all roller bearings, AN was very keen to dispose of non roller bearing equipment in the 80's.


Pretty sure the OBFs on the scrap train (circa 94) were all roller bearing but I could be wrong. Need to check my photos of the scrap train when I get home.
- wat700
- alcoworldseries



Yes your right, all OBF's were converted to roller bearings. Not to say there may have been odd ones around but I not remember shunting with them in the 80's having axle boxes and down here we worked with lot of OBF's and OB's on the super and some dolimite traffic. Anyway apart from roller bearings being better for train working, the roller bearings were much better for kicking off and fly shunting, they'd roll so easy. I vaugely remember once they had fitted roller bearings, the hand brakes were better setup too, for some reason. An important item for your spragger. Wink

Regards,

- jm1941



at port dock they had one OF or OBF with the roller bearing / pedestals setup but it was the old style body with the X door pressings.  i don't know if that is a one off done at port dock or whether AN had a few OBF/OF like that. 

ben

 
David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: With Dee Dee McCall

I assume over the years that some of the older bodied OBF's had new roller bearings placed onto them as a repair. There seem to be numerous photos of older type bodies on newer roller bearings. As these wagons were in constant use and needed badly at times I imagine it was to keep as many on the track at any one time as possible. The exhibits at The NRM are as we got them from AN in respect of doors etc on them, so this was either a SAR or AN conversion or repair.

The later Obf bodies were also used on the standard gauge version of these wagons classed SGBZ  and also some wagons on narrow gauge at Port Lincoln were rebuilt with later OBf type parts to keep them in service. There is a photo of one in the book "Peninsular Pioneer" by Peter Knife on page 272 of the book.

 
K-Class Chief Train Controller

Location: Canada

Thanks for the info on the scrap train wagons.

Sounds like they would all have been roller bearing as I expected.

Matt

 
benscaro Chief Commissioner

there's a shot somewhere of an SF on a kingston SE goods in 1985 hauled by a green 830, i think in a back issue of the ARHS bulletin.  i assume it would have had W-irons as i don't think any SF were converted to roller bearings, though if older OBF were, then maybe they were too ...

some CF equivalent 4-wheel cattle wagons were built new for the peterborough standardisation with roller bearings. can't recall the code, maybe SCZ? don't think they did any similar s.g. 4-wheelers for sheep though, as SAR had converted some of the narrow gauge SNs in addition to new bogie standard gauge sheep vans, and that probably would have been sufficient.

ben

 
Nipper Junior Train Controller

Location: Port Pirie

at port dock they had one OF or OBF with the roller bearing / pedestals setup but it was the old style body with the X door pressings.  i don't know if that is a one off done at port dock or whether AN had a few OBF/OF like that. 

ben

- benscaro



Hi Ben,

The example at Port Dock is a representative of OBf's 301 to 495, which had their underframe's rebuilt and strengthened from their previous 16-ton capacity to accept a payload of 22-tons.  It is not a one-off or an SAR or AN conversion or repair.  OBf's 1 to 300 had traditional w-iron's and pressed X doors, 301 to 495 were rebuilt with the same bodies and door types as the first series of OBf's, however they had their W-iron type spring assemblies replaced with a new SAR designed fixed pedestal bolster fitted with roller-bearings.  This underframe was also used on the latter series of OBf's (500 to 899 inclusive) which had a different body side/door design to those which were converted from OF's.  You can therefore place OBf's into three distinct design groups.

 
benscaro Chief Commissioner

thanks nipper.

you might be the one to say whether any other b.g. classes got pedestals/roller bearings.  for example, i've never seen a CF, SF or DWF with them, but i suppose - at least in theory - it could have happened?  

also, i wrote wrongly that the shot of the scrap OBFs used from holdens to simsmetal at port adelaide was in a 1994 catchpoint ... that was in the july 1992 issue, with 841 doing the honours. the rake all appear to be the third variety of OBF with horizontally reinforced doors.  i think i had 1994 in my head as this train ran until that time. 

even in 1992 the comment is made that these OBF were the only b.g 4-wheelers in service.

looking back over issues of catchpoint prior to that time there are very few mentions of 4-wheelers, a few are:

27/11/90 - 838 hauls 2 OBF/OF in a special for steamranger to strathalbyn (jan 1991 issue)

20/3/90 - 844 conveyed 70 stored OBF from the stockwell - truro section to dry creek.  (may 1990 issue)

20/2/90 - 944 ran from  on the b.g., stabling numbers of AOGA along the route and returning to dry creek with 6 OBF for storage, a shot shows them to be third series wagons. (may 1990 issue) 

the july 1990 issue had a photo of the train at blyth but reported the date as 22/2/90.

24/2 and 2/5/90 - 841/833 moved some of these OBF, due to local council complaints that they were an eyesore!

2/5/90 - 805 hauls 4 third series OBF as a part of a special movement including 967 and other stock for port dock.(both july 1990 issue)

24/5/89 - N467/456 work a recovery train of 2 OBFand brakevan to assist with recovery of materials following a derailment. (july 1989 issue, photo in sept 1989)

11/1/1988 - 67 OBF returned peterborough to mile end, many for scrapping. (march 1988 issue)

27/9/87 - huge rake of SGBZ shown at gladstone (nov 1987 issue)

23/9/87 - 12 OBF hauled to storage out near stockwell (nov 1987 issue)

28/7/87 - 803 hauls OBF of super with 8 AHHE on a grain run to farrell flat (two photos sept 1987 issue).

if we take that 1992 shot of the scrap train as being the last photo of a 4-wheeler in revenue service, there's a whole big five year gap before the shot at farrell flat which is next-to-last shot of an OBF in actual revenue service i can find. that is quite a gap in coverage, really.   you do start to see more pictures of roller bearing third series OBF in super service, most notably in SA diesel pictorial from early 1987 and before.

prior to july 1987 - 1 DWF, 1 Y wagon condemned in 'period under review' (july 1987 issue)

prior to may 1987 - 1 DWF, 1 Y wagon condemned in 'period under review' (may 1987 issue)

jan 1987 - standard gauge grain fleet reported as 12 AHHE, 8 AHGX, 3 AHWL, some AOGL and SGCs and 62 SGBZ 4 wheel wagons! (jan 1987 issue)

so it looks like the roller bearing OBFs were largely taken out of service in 1990, and that other 4 wheelers like DWF and Ys were still being intermittently condemned as late as 1987.  what is surprising is that 4 wheelers dominated the standard gauge grain fleet as late as 1987.

it is a pity catchpoint ceased reporting vehicle condemnations and did not take more interest in the decline of these wagons ... you would have thought the disappearance of the style of wagon that had run on the SAR since inception over a hundred years before would have been something to note.

ben

 
David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: With Dee Dee McCall

Trouble is Ben some classes disappeared almost over night and by the time you learnt about this it was too late. AN used to send whole trains of vehicles to scrap at times, even some repaired and refurbished bogie vehicles got the chop in error as well. The were marked scrap on the side and that is what happened to them at the scrap merchant. 

Luckily though AN kept some for works wagons etc and it is these that were snapped up after they had all gone.

 Oh and on the SG there was one class of Standard gauge 4 wheel lourve vans built that were as high as a LX bogie louvre van on roller bearings as well these were classed SLZ.

New sheep wagons were built and classed SS on standard gauge and fitted with roller bearing bogies as well. Nearly all the rollingstock on SG was built new with a few ex NG cars converted as well as both gauges had to be operable from the change over date. Some wagons were converted before the gauge change but most were done after it though.

 
benscaro Chief Commissioner

i understand that david, but does it really matter if catchpoint is a bit behind the ball and says 'in the last 2-3 months or so all the SB sheep vans have disappeared.'  

at least you can pinpoint the period to within a couple of months.  that's excellent data.

the section for wagon additions and condemnations took up only three or four lines and is immensely valuable to anyone doing historical research or who wants to get the right wagons for their modelling era.   three or four lines is *half* the space needed for yet another picture of thomas at the NRM, which by way of contrast is historically worthless.

wagons are important in the overall railway scheme of things.  far more so than locomotives.  

the situation with victorian wagons is even worse.  PJV admits frankly on his site that we just don't know when a lot of the victorian classes were withdrawn.

i intend no disrespect to him, after all PJV at least does pay attention to rolling stock and has made it his life's work.  but it's amazing that with all the gunzels in victoria, no one, for example can say for certain when the GHs were pulled ... and that was only twenty years ago.  

i'm very grateful of course for the information that catchpoint does have in it.  

but it was far superior prior to 1988 when it contained things like 'gricer's corner' and wagon information.

ben

 
David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: With Dee Dee McCall

Yes you are not the only one to say something similar about it. But back then we were just around the corner from the old Mile End goods yard and most things could be checked visually about wagons etc. Also all the younger ones who had plenty of time to record these things back then are now middle aged and married with kids and jobs and no one has come along to do the same anymore. The Catchpoint in most cases only relies on the info sent into to put in it. Same as the AMRM if you want to see it in print then send it in. I know you are in London so that leaves you out a bit.

 

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